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Is Your Tree Dead? Signs That Your Tree is Dead

Climate change and global environmental impacts are becoming more rampant and common nowadays. In the event of these occurrences, nature is struggling to keep up with human activities that bring dreadful long-term effects. One of the signifiers of this phenomenon is the life cycles of flora and fauna. The trees in your backyard are heavily affected by the changes in the environment. Sometimes, they struggle and eventually die. How can you tell that your tree is dead? Watch out for these signs.

Damaged root system

Dead trees have damaged root systems. Since roots bring a lot of the things that a tree needs to survive, a damaged or even decaying roots can say that your tree is not alive anymore. It’s not getting its needs from the roots and as per its death, the damaged root system is a side effect of the dying tree. Damaged roots also make a tree structure weak. So if your tree is leaning too low, looking like it will fall any time soon, it might be dead already.

Tree disease

Trees get sick too. Like animals and humans, a tree without proper protection and treatment can succumb to diseases that will wallow it to its death. Is your tree home to many critters and pests? Is there a significant and dense population of insects swarming and causing an infestation? These factors can contribute to the sick state of the tree. Visual signs of a dead tree can include damage spots and deep wounds. If your tree looks butchered, there’s a high chance it’s not alive anymore.

Fungal growth and presence

Fungal growth is normal for many trees. However, too much of it can cause sickness to a tree. If your tree is shrouded from roots to trunk with fungi, there’s a high chance it’s breaking down and decomposing inside. A rotten tree in its core is already dead. If you’re not sure with the case, do a scratch test. Beneath a layer of bark, a cambium layer is present. In a live tree, it is colour green, in a dead one, it’s colour brown and it’s dry.

Absence of bark

A dying tree will shed barks in gradual frequencies. Because of its declining health, the barks become loose and they shed off and will fall to the ground. In a dead tree, if there are big spots with the absence of bark, then there’s a high chance that the tree is dead. They start with deep cracks in the trunk that can go all the way to the core, once the barks are loose, they will fail to protect the tree and shed off.

Bare branches in budding season

Trees have their season to bloom and grow. The foliage of trees should grow in volume in its peak season. If the branches of your tree aren’t sporting as many leaves, or have no leaves at all when they should be, they might be dead already. Check the canopy of the trees to make sure that they are growing leaves or flowers. A bare tree might be sick and dying, or more realistically, dead.

Foul odour

Some of the trees that die give off a foul smell after. The smell comes from either the decomposition and decay of the tree or its slow degradation due to insect and pest infestation. Though it might not apply for all, if your trees give off an unusual smell that wasn’t there before, call your arborist to inspect it. You can still treat it only if it’s sick, or you can choose to let it go when there’s no point in keeping it.


A dead tree gives off warning signs as much as sick trees do. Sometimes, the signs overlap, and you need to remove the tree already. If you want to consult about the health of your tree in the garden or the health of your plants and shrubs in the landscape, it’s best to call your local arborist to get the job done.

Team up with Trees Down Under for your garden needs!

Trees Down Under has extensive experience to deal with your garden and your trees, dead or alive. If you’re looking for trusted knowledge and unparalleled experience to assure the health and aesthetics of your landscape, you can count on us. We will work with you in keeping your trees and plants well. We can also work with you in dealing with a dead tree that doesn’t bring joy in your sight anymore. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

We offer tree services like tree removals, tree pruning, stump grinding and more.

Call us at 0475 463 597 or send us your enquiries via email. Book your next tree removal job or request a quote here.

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